SCIENTIFIC NAME: Myrciaria cauliflora
FAMILY: Myrtaceae

This article on growing jaboticabas from cuttings was clipped from a Brazilian Horticulture magazine. The translation is from Portuguese.

When the horticulturist plants a fruit tree, he can't wait to see his tree bear fruit. If we are talking about a Jaboticaba tree, for example, it takes ten years or more to see any fruit and this is the reason many people will not grow Jaboticaba. But now, with this way of handling the cuttings, you might have a blooming Jaboticaba tree in two years, according to the Embrater technicians.

This is the way it's done: try to find a branch with a diameter of 8 inches by 31.5 inches long, cut the bottom part as you would sharpen a pencil and then cut this tip with two cuts in the shape of a cross (look at the picture) approximately 6 inches deep. This should always be done in the spring. Plant by pushing it into the soil with a hammer for about 16 inches. As soon as the cuttings starts burying into the soil, the tip opens up. Now cover the top part with sphagnum moss mixed with cow manure and tie it with a string. Water it twice a week, but only until it begins to sprout. When the new branches have grown a lot, you could trim it a little and in two years the tree will probably be blooming. (Extract from RFCI Inc Newsletter, June, 1986)


Now according to all the literature one reads and the close contact with other growers, it seems that the jaboticaba and related species come into bearing around 6-10 years.

Recently on the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland, a grower by the name of Cliff Groves reported that his jaboticaba had flowered and fruited. Cliff who collects and trials anything that he finds only took an interest in the 'exotics' four years ago. This tree was planted three years ago as a very young seedling. A very bushy shrub now at 2 metres high, was planted on a rocky, well-drained slope with a northeast aspect. The leaves are of the small leaf type. The irrigation system is run efficiently, and when planted, the fertiliser S.M.3 was used, fowl manure once, as well as cow manure. It is well-mulched and a regular pattern of fertilising with 775 is being used.

The fruit diameter is 20-25mm with a tough, shiny, jet-black skin. The recovery of flesh is 70-75% with the flesh sticking tightly to the seed. The flavour is excellent and Brix reading of 17 .5. Flowers were first noticed on August 30th, 1986 and fruit were edible around four weeks later. Seeds are being kept to be planted to see if this can be repeated as this must be the quickest fruiting jaboticaba yet to be recorded.

Rob Weston

DATE: November 1986

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